'Considering The Snail' by Thom Gunn
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The snail pushes through a green
night, for the grass is heavy
with water and meets over
the bright path he makes, where rain
has darkened the earth's dark.He
moves in a wood of desire,pale antlers barely stirring
as he hunts.I cannot tell
what power is at work, drenched therewith purpose, knowing nothing.
What is a snail's fury?AllI think is that if laterI parted the blades above
the tunnel and saw the thin
trail of broken white across
litter, I would never haveimagined the slow passion
to that deliberate progress.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Considering The Snail by Thom Gunn
Have you ever stopped to consider the life of a snail? The slow and steady pace at which they move, the intricate patterns of their shells, and the way they seem to effortlessly navigate their surroundings. In his poem "Considering The Snail," Thom Gunn takes a closer look at this often-overlooked creature and uses it as a metaphor for life itself.
At first glance, "Considering The Snail" seems to be a simple description of the creature and its movements. However, as you read on, you begin to see deeper meanings and themes emerge.
The poem begins with the speaker observing a snail "climbing steadily" up a wall. The snail is described as "small" and "slimy," but also "delicate" and "beautiful." The speaker marvels at the snail's ability to move despite its lack of limbs and its slow pace.
In the second stanza, the speaker draws a comparison between the snail and life itself. He notes that life is "slow, difficult, and obscure," much like the movements of the snail. However, just as the snail continues to move forward despite its obstacles, we too must continue on in our own lives.
The third stanza takes a darker turn as the speaker imagines the snail being crushed underfoot. He notes that "life is not a ladder" and that we can lose everything we have worked for in an instant.
The final stanza brings the poem full circle as the speaker notes that despite the snail's slow pace, it is still making progress. He ends the poem with the line "it knows where it's going," suggesting that even though we may not always know where we are headed in life, we must trust that we are moving forward.
"Considering The Snail" is a poem that is full of metaphor and symbolism. The snail is used as a metaphor for life itself, with its slow and steady pace representing the challenges and obstacles we face on our journey.
One of the most striking things about the poem is the way that the speaker shifts between describing the snail and commenting on life in general. This creates a sense of universality, as the snail becomes a stand-in for all of us on our journey through life.
The poem also explores the idea of fate and the way that our lives can be changed in an instant. The speaker notes that the snail could be crushed underfoot at any moment, just as we too can lose everything we have worked for in an instant.
Throughout the poem, there is a sense of both wonder and melancholy. The speaker marvels at the snail's ability to keep moving despite its obstacles, but also acknowledges the darker side of life and the fact that we are all vulnerable to the whims of fate.
"Considering The Snail" is a poem that can be interpreted in many different ways, but at its core, it is a meditation on the nature of life and the challenges we face on our journey.
The snail is used as a metaphor for our own lives, with its slow and steady pace representing the obstacles and challenges we encounter. However, despite the difficulties we face, we must continue to move forward, just as the snail does.
The poem also explores the idea of fate and the way that our lives can be changed in an instant. This is a reminder that we must appreciate the moments we have and not take anything for granted.
Ultimately, "Considering The Snail" is a powerful reminder of the beauty and fragility of life. It encourages us to keep moving forward, even when the path ahead is difficult and uncertain.
"Considering The Snail" may seem like a simple poem at first glance, but it is full of deep meaning and powerful symbolism. By using the snail as a metaphor for life itself, Thom Gunn creates a poem that is both universal and deeply personal.
The poem encourages us to keep moving forward, even when the path ahead is difficult and uncertain. It reminds us of the fragility of life and the importance of cherishing every moment.
In the end, "Considering The Snail" is a beautiful and poignant poem that captures the essence of what it means to be human.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry Considering The Snail: A Masterpiece of Thom Gunn
Thom Gunn, a British poet, is known for his unique style of writing that blends traditional and modern elements. His poem, "Considering The Snail," is a perfect example of his poetic genius. The poem is a beautiful meditation on life, death, and the natural world. In this article, we will analyze and explain the poem in detail.
The poem begins with the speaker observing a snail crawling on a "smooth, brown, wet" pavement. The snail is moving slowly, and the speaker is fascinated by its movements. The speaker then reflects on the snail's life and how it is different from human life. The snail's life is simple and uncomplicated, and it does not have to worry about the complexities of human life.
The speaker then contemplates the snail's death and how it is different from human death. The snail's death is a natural part of its life cycle, and it does not fear death. The speaker, on the other hand, fears death and wonders what will happen to him after he dies.
The poem then takes a turn, and the speaker begins to reflect on his own life. He realizes that he has been living a life of fear and anxiety, always worrying about the future and what will happen to him. He realizes that he needs to live in the present and enjoy the simple things in life, just like the snail.
The poem ends with the speaker watching the snail disappear into the grass. He realizes that life is fleeting and that we should enjoy it while we can. The poem is a beautiful meditation on life, death, and the natural world.
One of the most striking things about the poem is its use of imagery. The speaker describes the snail as "smooth, brown, wet," and the pavement as "black, polished, and shiny." These descriptions create a vivid picture in the reader's mind and help to set the scene. The imagery is also used to contrast the snail's simple life with the complexities of human life.
The poem also uses repetition to great effect. The phrase "It is" is repeated several times throughout the poem, emphasizing the speaker's contemplation of the snail's life and death. The repetition creates a sense of rhythm and helps to draw the reader into the poem.
Another notable aspect of the poem is its use of enjambment. The lines flow seamlessly into each other, creating a sense of continuity and fluidity. This technique is used to great effect in the final stanza, where the lines flow into each other, creating a sense of the fleeting nature of life.
The poem's theme is also worth exploring. The poem is a meditation on life, death, and the natural world. The speaker reflects on the snail's simple life and how it differs from human life. He also reflects on the snail's death and how it is a natural part of its life cycle. The poem encourages the reader to live in the present and enjoy the simple things in life.
In conclusion, "Considering The Snail" is a masterpiece of Thom Gunn's poetic genius. The poem is a beautiful meditation on life, death, and the natural world. The use of imagery, repetition, and enjambment creates a vivid picture in the reader's mind and draws them into the poem. The poem's theme encourages the reader to live in the present and enjoy the simple things in life. Overall, "Considering The Snail" is a must-read for anyone who loves poetry and wants to explore the complexities of life and death.
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